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Vertebrate road-kill survey of the Mobile Bay Causeway (2000-2012).

VERTEBRATE ROAD-KILL SURVEY OF THE MOBILE BAY CAUSEWAY (2000-2012). DAVID H. NELSON AND CYNTHIA SCARDAMALIA-NELSON, DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA, MOBILE, AL 36688

A systematic, road-kill survey was conducted on the Mobile Bay Causeway (US Hwy. 90 / 98) from April 2000 through December 2012 to assess the numbers of vertebrate animals killed by vehicular traffic. During the field study, all vertebrates were recorded from 2001 to 2004, mammals were recorded from 2001 to 2004 and 2012, and reptiles were recorded each year (2000-2012). A total of 4528 vertebrates were identified. There were 648 amphibians representing 9 species, dominated by southern leopard frogs (N=477), pig frogs (N=104), bullfrogs (N=25), and green treefrogs (N=T7). Thirty species of reptiles (N=1909) were encountered, dominated by Alabama red-bellied turtles (N=734), Mississippi green water snakes (N=197), American alligators (N=177), ribbon snakes (N=156), mud turtles (N=136), and cottonmouths (N=99). The 1191 bird specimens were represented by 81 species, dominated by laughing gulls (N=214), starlings (N=151), American coots (N=121), boat-tailed grackles (N=74), mourning doves (N=61), and red-winged blackbirds (N=52). A total of 780 mammals were recorded from 19 species, dominated by opossums (N=232), raccoons (N=215), marsh rabbits (N=55), house cats (N=46), and armadillos (N=29). Data analysis focuses on geographic distributions, population trends and climatic factors of the region. In 2008, roadside fencing was established along the eastern causeway (by the Alabama Department of Transportation) which has significantly reduced automobile mortality of wildlife there (especially in reptiles such as the endangered Alabama red-bellied turtle, *Pseudemys alabamensis*).

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Title Annotation:Biological Sciences Paper Abstracts
Author:Nelson, David H.; Scardamalia-Nelson, Cynthia
Publication:Journal of the Alabama Academy of Science
Article Type:Abstract
Geographic Code:1U6AL
Date:Apr 1, 2015
Words:271
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